Wednesday, March 30, 2016

video 3 16 16 The idol

Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and shew us former things? Let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth. Is. 43:9
.Who rules?
.Don’t get burned
.They get paid- to help Pops!
.She hit the lotto- again!
.ISIS n genocide
.Mike Nifong
.More gun shots- every day?
PAST POSTS [verses below]
(1228) 2ND CORINTHIANS 6- Paul tells them to not receive God’s grace ‘in vain’. He quotes a very popular verse among Evangelicals ‘now is the acceptable time, now is the day of salvation’. He says the Lord heard their prayer and ‘accepted/saved them’. Paul is referring to salvation in the sense that after his first letter, they repented, asked God for forgiveness and responded in the right way. Now in this letter he’s saying ‘look, God heard your heart. He has received you. Don’t keep repenting over the thing’. Paul also gives another list of his trials. He gave one in chapter 4, will give another one in chapter 11. I like the part where he says ‘we are unknown, yet well known’. In today’s Protestant/Evangelical churches, we are often ‘well know, yet unknown’. Let me explain. In Paul’s day he raised up quite a stir. In the book of Acts we see how when he was at the temple in Jerusalem someone finally recognized him and accused him. He wasn’t’ well recognized/known like we are today. Yet his writings and the communities of believers he was establishing were well known. People knew his message and gospel. Yet today, we have so many Christians who follow a cult of personality. They associate ‘the church they attend’ with the main leader. Often these men are well meaning, in some cases their public persona is known world wide. Yet the average viewing audience has no grasp on what they are teaching. They see our famous images [well known] yet what we are speaking is often irrelevant [unknown]. And last but not least Paul teaches what I like to call ‘an incarnational ecclesiology’- in simple terms, God lives in his people in a real way. The real presence of God in society is manifest thru his actual people. Often times the historic churches will emphasize the Eucharist as the way Gods presence is in the world. Some argue for ‘an incarnational sacramental’ view of Christianity. They teach that because God manifested himself in a material way thru Christ [the incarnation] that this principle continues today thru the sacraments that the churches practice. I respond this way; while this is true that God has/does manifest himself in real ways in the world, the primary method of him dwelling in the world in a real way is thru the people of God. Paul refers to us as Gods temple in the world. While the history of Israel in the Old Testament is somewhat liturgical, I feel to carry sacramental theology too far into the New Covenant misses the point. Jesus did give us the communion meal, and we do ‘show his death’ while celebrating it. But Gods primary means of ‘showing’ himself to the world is thru the charitable deeds of his saints. They will ‘know we are Christians by our love, by our love’. This theme is woven thru out the entire New Testament. Its’ fine for believers to have ‘sacred space’ [church buildings] to celebrate liturgy and traditional forms of Christian worship, but to keep in mind that we are the actual dwelling place of God in the world, we are his temple. During the first millennia of Christian history the church developed an idea that said because Jesus did come in the flesh, therefore it is now permitted to have Icons [special religious paintings that have special meaning in the Greek/Eastern Orthodox churches] and physical ways for God’s presence to manifest. The western church [Catholic] would struggle over this issue. One of the Popes would condemn iconography and some would destroy these religious paintings from the church buildings. Eventually an Orthodox theologian [I think John of Damascus?] would develop the theology that I explained above and the church would accept the practice of God manifesting himself in a special way thru religious objects. I personally enjoy the Catholic/Orthodox and traditional expressions of Christianity, but I think they over did it in this area.

(1229) 2ND CORINTHIANS 7- Paul tells them that at first he regretted being so hard on them in his 1st letter. But now he rejoices that he was so hard, because they fully heard him out and came to their senses. I have found over the years that many people initially ‘hate’ me for some of the stuff I write. But sometimes they really reconsider certain beliefs that they picked up along the way and they make adjustments, this is the purpose. So Paul was glad he did it. Now when he was in Macedonia he was in distress 'without were fighting’s, within were fears’ he struggled daily with difficulty. But in all these troubles he rejoiced when the good report came back to him from Titus, his coworker who was sent to check up on the Corinthians. Titus came back and told Paul how they listened to him and repented. This was Paul’s reason to rejoice. I want you to see the give and take between Paul and these churches/communities. In the next chapter we will deal with money issues, but for now he is giving his life away for the benefit of these churches. He preaches the pure gospel of Jesus, he does not view ‘being a child of the king’ thru the lens of making wealth or having no problems, to the contrary he will teach that these doctrines are not from the Lord [see 1st Timothy 6]. Paul’s intent was to establish
Daniel 3:6 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
Daniel 3:7 Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of musick, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
Daniel 3:8 Wherefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and accused the Jews.
Daniel 3:9 They spake and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live for ever.
Daniel 3:10 Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, shall fall down and worship the golden image
Daniel 3:11 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
Daniel 3:12 There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
Daniel 3:13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. Then they brought these men before the king.
Daniel 3:14 Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?
Daniel 3:15 Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?
Daniel 3:16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.
Daniel 3:17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
Daniel 3:18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
Daniel 3:19 Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.
Daniel 3:20 And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.
Daniel 3:21 Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
Daniel 3:22 Therefore because the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego.
Daniel 3:23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
Daniel 3:24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellers, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.
Daniel 3:25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
Daniel 3:26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, came forth of the midst of the fire.
Daniel 3:27 And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king's counsellers, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.
Daniel 3:28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.
Daniel 3:29 Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.
Daniel 3:30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, in the province of Babylon.
Psalm 149:1 Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.
Psalm 149:2 Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.
Psalm 149:3 Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.
Psalm 149:4 For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.
Psalm 149:5 Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.
Psalm 149:6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand;
Psalm 149:7 To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people;
Psalm 149:8 To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron;
Psalm 149:9 To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD.
And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. Zech 12:3
Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? Matt. 21:42
The Lord shall increase you more and more, you and your children. Ps. 115
And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. Rev.
Note- Please do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John.#

Sunday, March 27, 2016

video 3 14 16 Marcus

.Inherit the promise
.’It was nothin’
.Glen Campbell
.Missing gospels?
.Council of Carthage
.Bill Walker  n Chinese food
.Fire Dept. stuff
.VA dropped me!
.Obama Care fine- not good
PAST POSTS [verses below]


Try and watch this video- I cover lots of stuff that place this letter in context for this study. [ Read acts 10,11,15, Galatians 1-2]


This letter was written by James- the brother of Jesus.

He was one of the main church leaders at the church in Jerusalem- we read about him in Acts chapter 15.

This [Acts 15] was the first church council in the history of Christianity.

I already taught the book of Romans written by the apostle Paul.

And as we read the New Testament in context- we can see the reason why James penned this letter- and addressed it to Jewish believers.

Paul was the most influential missionary in the early church- he established most of the gentile churches we read about in the bible [Rome being the exception].

He also wrote most of the letters that make up our New Testament.

His main teaching was Justification by faith.

There was a division we read about in the bible- between some of the Jewish believers at Jerusalem- and the churches Paul was planting [the church council mentioned above- was convened over this issue].

This division was based on the teaching of Paul- and some Jewish believers in Jerusalem accused Paul of rejecting the Mosaic Law.

Paul defended himself in the letters of the New Testament [Romans/Galatians] and even talks about his visits to the leaders at the church in Jerusalem.

Now- in this context- it seems fitting for James- the main church leader of the Jewish brothers- to ‘set the record straight’.

And to write his own letter- showing the importance of GOOD WORKS- and even saying ‘see how a man is justified/saved by works- and not by faith alone’.

The higher critics of Christianity [who you have heard me talk about in recent videos] will teach that James and Paul ‘taught different theologies’.

 I do not agree with them.

But- our bibles are an early collection of the Real Time things that were taking place in the early church.

At the time these men were writing these letters- they were not writing them as a complete canon [book] - but were writing them as you or I would write a letter to another person.

In the wisdom of God- I think it is possible for these men to have seen different aspects of the manifold wisdom of God- and maybe they were not fully seeing the other writer’s point of view.

To me- this would not be a criticism of the canon of scripture- but it would show us that God used these men- thru their experiences- and yes- even disagreements- to write the letters that make up our bibles-

And in time- they would indeed become the official teaching of the church-

Embracing a broad range of Divine Revelation- that in the end- does NOT CONTRADICT itself- but instead makes a complete work- which we call the bible.

This letter is short- and packed with short verses of great wisdom.

It is the only New Testament letter that falls into the category of Wisdom Literature-

Meaning a particular genre’ of writing- like Proverbs in the Old Testament.

Because of this- I am going to post each chapter of the letter during this teaching- for those of you who have never read the bible all the way thru-

I want to challenge you to read these short chapters over the next few weeks.

I will comment and add historical stuff in this teaching- like I did in the other recent studies.

But most of all- read each chapter for yourself- ask God to give you wisdom- and apply the instruction of this letter to your life.

It is a very practical- straight forward teaching that comes to us from the brother of Jesus himself.

As I have been commenting on the other writings that did not make it into our bibles- like the Gnostic gospels-

One of the reasons these extra biblical writings have so much appeal-

Is because they claim to have other teachings- from/about Jesus- that are not in the bible.

For those of us who reject these other writings- as canon-

The letter of James kind of fills the void of ‘we want to know more about what Jesus taught’.

This would be the letter to read- because James grew up with Jesus- in the same home.

He was the oldest sibling of the Holy Family-

And he was not a follower of Jesus until after the resurrection of Christ.

He was one of the witnesses Jesus appeared to after his resurrection [Paul told us this in Corinthians].

So- if anyone has any ‘secret insight’ into the other stuff Jesus taught- it would be James.

ACTS 10,11,15.




James 1-

James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
James 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
James 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
James 1:6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like

 ‘Let us therefore fear [Jews in the first century, not Christians in the 21st century! At least in this context] lest a promise being left us of entering into his rest [now defined as the New Covenant rest. Paul is telling Israel God has left you a promise of rest in Messiah, where you will cease from your own works [law], beware Israel, our forefathers missed out on the promise because of unbelief, don’t do the same!] any of you should come short of it, for unto us was the gospel preached [1st century Israel] as well as unto them [Israel at the edge of entering the promised land had the gospel [good news] preached to them by Joshua and Caleb, they gave the ‘good report’ that the land was great and it was there for the taking, of course they didn’t believe and therefore couldn’t take it] but the word did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

 For WE WHICH HAVE BELEIVED [the remnant of Jews who were believing in the first century were entering into the rest of the New Covenant of grace, they left off trying to be made righteous by the law, they ceased from their own works] do enter into rest…for he spake in a certain place of the 7th day on this wise, and God did rest the 7th day from all his works, and again, if they shall enter into my rest. Seeing therefore it still remains that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: again he limits a certain day in David [Psalms] today if you will HEAR HIS VOICE [as opposed to the voice of the law/Moses] harden not your hearts. For if Joshua [my king James says ‘Jesus’ this is because the translation is the same] had given them rest then he would not have spoken of another day, there remaineth therefore a rest TO THE PEOPLE OF GOD! [Jewish people ‘of God’ not gentile converts!]. Well, we covered a lot here. Paul takes the creation account, the verses that will later speak of a future rest for Gods people, and then a verse from Psalms where David prophesies that there still remains a future rest. He puts them all together to show Israel that God has ordained a future ‘7th day’ for his people to enter into. He uses the 7th day as a symbol of Gods ‘day of Grace and rest’.

 He then shows Israel that it really wasn’t speaking of the rest of the Promised Land after all, because eventually Israel did inherit it, but yet David still spoke of it in the future tense. So Paul concludes that the future rest of the 7th day that ‘Gods people’ [Jews] still must enter is the offer of grace to the 1st century Jew. Wow! This is why some theologians feel Paul was a little too loose with the scriptures. I think this stuff is great! Paul basically was using all of his understanding as a first century theologian [Pharisee] and was absolutely proving Christ to Israel in a way that none of the other Apostles could do. He was the only Pharisee out of all the Apostles, one born out of due time. This is obviously why Jesus chose him. It is so important to see the connections that Paul is making here. If Israel were following the timeline that Paul is giving, they will see that their own Old Testament scriptures testify that there was a future ‘place of rest’ that would be offered to them as a nation.

 And Paul also shows that in history, Israel had a pattern of not entering into ‘this rest’ because of unbelief. And then he says ‘but the rest that Joshua finally did give them [the promised land] wasn’t really the true rest after all, because David still spoke of it in a future tense’ then he says ‘see, there remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God’. Seeing this in context clears up many wrong interpretations of these passages. You can still read Hebrews as a Christian and get wonderful principles, but you must see it in context to truly understand what its saying. ‘For he that hath entered into rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his’ amazing, Paul says just like God ceased from creative activity on the ‘7th day’ so likewise when we enter into the covenant of grace, we too will cease from the works of the law. This is so significant to the Jewish community whom Paul is addressing. He is showing them, in their language [Old Testament] the same things he writes to the gentiles in Galatians and Romans.

 He is using the story of Genesis to show the truth of grace. Out of all the Apostles, Paul is unique in his ability to see Jesus in all of these Old Testament stories. No one could have made a better apologetic for the Christian faith than Paul. ‘Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall into the same example of unbelief’ Now, I have heard it taught that this is telling Christians to ‘work for your rest’. This would be a complete contradiction to this entire letter. But if you see this in context, that the recipients of this letter are 1st century Jews who are already under the bondage of the law, then you read this as ‘those of you Jews who are always working to try and make yourselves righteous, you need to stop working for this, but instead let all your labors and struggles end up at the Cross’ in essence ‘labor [struggle] to see these things I am showing you, and if you do you will find rest’ in the New Covenant of grace! ‘Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession, for we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ This of course applies to all of us. Paul and other New Testament writers saw redemption in a way that naturally included everybody. It was only those who rejected it thru unbelief that were missing out. This is why you will see statements made like ‘Jesus is the savior of all men, specially of those that believe’ there was a real sense in the early church that Jesus really redeemed everybody.

 They were not preaching universal salvation in the sense that everybody will be saved. But the gospel was presented in a way that simply included everybody. So here Paul says ‘we have a high priest’ he is including Israel in the ‘we’. I also like to apply these verses to all of us. How many times do we feel intimidated to come before Gods throne? We feel unworthy and God seems unapproachable. Sort of like Saint John of the Cross who experienced the ‘dark night of the soul’ as well as Mother Theresa. There are times where believers feel separated from God's real presence. It is during these times when God says ‘come boldly, I too have experienced weakness and separation thru the incarnation. I know what it is like. Come to me, I can see what you feel like, I can feel your feelings of weakness and inadequacy, come to me for help my child’. In the next chapter we will read this in depth. Jesus and all the high priests of the law were able to identify with man because they were at one time in mans shoes. This is one of the great realities of the incarnation.

Remember context- in this chapter the writer is appealing to his Jewish brothers.
And he reminds them of their own history- he says ‘just like our forefathers died in the wilderness- because they did not BELIEVE’-
So beware- if you now reject this new offer of REST- it will be because of UNBELIEF.
The writer is making an argument for Justification by Faith here.
He spiritualizes the promise of the Promised Land- and the story of Creation and Sabbath Day.
He says ‘ok- God RESTED himself on the 7th Day of Creation’.
This REST [a type of rest found in Christ and the New Covenant- based on Faith/Grace- NOT WORKS -The law].
Was not the Rest promised to Israel when they entered the Promised Land.
Because King David says many years later- in Psalms 95- that a Rest is still in the future.
What Rest?
The 1st century offer of Grace- thru Faith- not works.
See how important context is?
So- when he says ‘there still remains a REST TO THE PEOPLE OF GOD’- He is not talking to Christians- as this verse is often seen.
No- in the letter of Hebrews- the People of God are the Jewish nation- who now must ‘labor- work- strive’ to believe the Promise of Messiah- and enter into rest.
These verses only make sense in this context.
Preachers often teach the verse ‘strive to enter into rest- people of God’.
And apply that to Christians- who are already ‘in rest’.
No- that’s the wrong setting for these verses.
But- to the 1st century Jew- under the law- then it makes sense.
They were at a transition stage- they were still under the law [works] and they had to beware- because this present promise of grace- just like the Old Testament Promise of entering into the Promised Land- is based on faith.
So- when the writer says ‘if you strive- and hear this Gospel of Grace- you can enter into the Sabbath Day Rest’ [a symbol of the covenant of Grace].
And have Rest.
NOTE- It’s not an ‘accident’ that the writer quotes from Psalms 95- written by Kind David.
Jesus is identified as ‘The Son of David’ so it’s thru the Davidic line that the promise of Rest would ultimately be fulfilled.
In a sense the writer is saying ‘The Joshua that lead our Fathers into the Promised Land was not the Real One- but the Joshua of the New Testament [Jesus and Joshua are the same word in the Hebrew/Greek English translation] has now come thru the Line of David- and he will lead us into the True Rest- if you Believe’
Psalm 95:6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.
Psalm 95:7 For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice,
Psalm 95:8 Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
Psalm 95:9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.
Psalm 95:10 Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:
Psalm 95:11 Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.
Genesis 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
Genesis 2:2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
Genesis 2:3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
Hebrews 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
Hebrews 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
Hebrews 4:3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
Hebrews 4:4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.
Hebrews 4:5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.
Hebrews 4:6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:
Hebrews 4:7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Hebrews 4:8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
Hebrews 4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
Hebrews 4:10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
Hebrews 4:11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.


 ‘For every high priest taken from among men…who can have compassion on the ignorant and on them that are OUT OF THE WAY , for that he himself is compassed about with infirmity’ God once again emphasizes the reality of calling men with faults and weaknesses into leadership. Why? Because according to the law men who themselves have weaknesses could then have compassion and not judge others who are ‘out of the way’. I spent the day yesterday with some homeless friends, a lot of them are ‘out of the way’. They never seemed to transition into the normal routines of life. Many of them will eventually share their experiences of being rejected as kids by their parents. Others have had an abusive childhood. For different reasons they are ‘out of the way’. They also are used to being treated badly by society. One of the guys is a true believer. He is even ordained as a deacon for a homeless church, he reads and teaches the word. Really stands out as a follower of Christ. He is homeless. He told me how sometimes he will go and just sit on church property so he can sense God and spend time praying apart from the other hangouts where guys are drinking and doing drugs. Sometimes the church will call the cops and tell him to move. Now I know the church doesn’t realize he is truly a believer, but it shows you how society treats those who are ‘out of the way’.

God chose you, fully knowing your weaknesses and faults, you might think that your faults disqualify you for service, God says they are part of the requirement to be a priest! ‘Christ glorified not himself to be made a priest… thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec’ once again Paul will use his great knowledge of the Old Testament to teach something new. He goes to the story of Melchisedec in the Old Testament. This person was a real priest who Abraham paid tithes to. Later we will read that this means the priesthood of Jesus is superior to that of the law. Many use this verse to justify tithing for gentiles, but it really is showing the superiority of grace over law. Now Paul also finds a prophetic Old Testament verse that says Jesus is a priest from this order. What order? Well there have only ever been 2 priests in this ‘class’ and that was Melchisedec and Jesus. In essence Melchisedec was simply a real person who functioned as a priest before the Levitical priesthood was established. The fact that Paul finds this obscure verse showing that Jesus came from this ‘line’ of priests as opposed to Levi shows that Christ’s priesthood is outside of the law. This is the main reason for Melchisedec’s historical existence. Some teach that he was a preincarnate appearance of Christ because we will read he had no beginning of days or end of life. I kind of lean towards this meaning there is no record in scripture of him having a birth or death. I don’t see Melchisedec as a preincarnate appearance of Christ. I do find it interesting how God raised up a man, before Christ, for the sole purpose of later saying of Jesus ‘you are a priest forever after this order’. In my mind God did it for this sole reason.

 We know Jesus was slain before the foundation of the world. So basically God raised this priest up just so Jesus could be traced thru his lineage as opposed to Levi. The significance is great in the mind of Paul, because once again this makes the case for Israel to come out of the old system of law [Levi] and come to a priesthood that cannot trace its roots back to the law. This is solely a grace argument; it is not some strange teaching that shows a preincarnate Christ who walked the earth forever. ‘Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec, of whom we have many things to say [I just said some of them!] and hard to be uttered, seeing ye [1st century Israel, NOT CHRISTIANS!] are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers [God raised Israel up to be a ‘teaching nation’ in the midst of a pagan world. The purpose of God for them as a nation was to influence all the nations around them with the true God. This is why God ordained ways for ‘proselytes’ to come and become partakers of Gods blessings on Israel. This is very important to see here, because as we go into chapter 6 this will be the context to clear up many wrong views of this letter] you have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God’.

 As we go into chapter six I will show you how ‘the first principles of the Word of God’ are all the elementary teachings of the law, not the message of the Cross! Paul is rebuking Israel because they had a long time to fully get grounded in the law, it was now time for them to move on from these ‘basic teachings’ and into Christ. Paul says they need to be ‘re taught’ the basics again because they are unable to see the pictures that Paul has been painting for them thru this ‘old testament canvas’. So in context, Paul is not telling Christians to ‘move on from the Cross’ as many teach. But he is telling Israel ‘move on from the elementary principles of the law’ unto Christ. This is why it is so important to read this letter in context.
NEW NOTES [4-2015]

‘High priest- after the order of Melchizedek’-
Once again we see the writer quoting from Psalms [2, 110].
The point the writer is making- about Melchizedek- is that Jesus comes in a symbolic way- not thru Levi- the priestly tribe of the law.
But thru another line [Judah too].
Melchizedek was indeed a real person- a priest talked about in the bible- and we will read later that he had no ‘father or mother’- but a type of Christ- without beginning or end.
Most see this as meaning there is no record of a father or mother- so he fits the type.
Others think this man was a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ-
Either way- the point is Jesus is not a ‘law’ priest- but outside the law.
Showing the readers [Jews] that they too need to move on from the base principles of the old covenant- and receive Jesus as the final high priest.
Now- context- he says ‘the time has come that you should be teachers- but have need to be taught again’.
Ok- I don’t see this as speaking to Christians- but talking to the 1st century Jewish people- the ‘time has come’-
We read in Galatians ‘in the Fullness of time’.
Israel was supposed to move on in the reality of Jesus as the Messiah- and enter the fullness of the Kingdom.
Then as Gods completed people- they would ‘teach the nations’ of the glory of God [in Christ].
Much like what the early disciples did-
But- if Israel rejects Christ- as a nation- then they will forfeit this special calling they had.
We will read later that they needed to ‘move on from the elementary principles’-
Once again- not telling Christians to ‘move on’ [which makes no sense].
But all the elements of the ‘doctrine of Christ’ were indeed contained in the law.
These ‘base elements’ are now fulfilled in Christ.
Hebrews 5:5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.
Hebrews 5:6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
Hebrews 5:10 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.
Hebrews 5:11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.
Hebrews 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
Psalm 110:1 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
Psalm 110:2 The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.
Psalm 110:3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.
Psalm 110:4 The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.



 ‘Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ [in Colossians Paul teaches that the ‘principles/ elementary teachings’ are the law. The law contained all the elementary doctrines of Christ, it held all the ‘shadows’ but not the reality! Here the principles are not Christian doctrine, but law], let us go on unto perfection’ Now, it is commonly taught that Paul is exhorting believers to move on to maturity. While it is true that Paul teaches this elsewhere, here he is not teaching it. Here he is telling Israel ‘leave the basics of the law and move on to Christ’. Why is this important to see? Because if you don’t see it this way, then you will have a doctrine that says to believers ‘you must move on from the Cross’ many well meaning preachers have done this, this is why context is so important. When you see it in context, Paul is not saying ‘move on FROM the Cross’ but ‘move on INTO the Cross’!

 ‘Not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works [law], and of faith towards God, of the doctrine of baptisms [washings- Israel had all types of doctrines of baptisms [plural] this is why when John the Baptist came baptizing people in the Jordan, they didn’t say ‘what in the world is this guy doing’ they had the ‘doctrine of baptisms’ engrained in their law! The whole sacrificial system and the tabernacle had all types of lavers {wash basins} and things] ‘and of the laying on of hands [Moses ‘ordained’ 70, you had the ‘laying on of hands’ taught in the law] and of the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment’ Now, all these verses without a doubt describe the law. It is easy to read these verses as applying to the New Covenant, but they really aren’t. In context why would Paul be telling young believers [who these are not! They are Jews on the verge of transition] to leave all the fundamental teachings of Christianity? But he is telling Israel to move on from the basic elements of the law into the reality of what the law was foreshadowing. That is Christ! ‘For it is IMPOSSIBLE for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost’ Israel had Gods Spirit anointing her Kings for thousands of years before the Spirit ever came on the day of Pentecost. They had ‘exclusive rights’ to the things of God pre-Cross. They were made partakers of the Holy Ghost! They were enlightened in a way that no other nation was, they had prophets and priests administrating the things of God all thru out their history.

 In context Paul is saying ‘if you Jews, who have had this favorable position all thru out your history, if you ‘fall away’ from God at this point by not continuing with his revelation of Messiah, then it is impossible to renew you AGAIN unto repentance’ Part of their system of law was repentance. All the animal sacrifices and works of humility were for this purpose. Paul is warning Israel ‘if you miss this opportunity to believe, don’t think that you can keep bringing your animal sacrifices of repentance anymore, it is impossible to renew that’ Now do you see? No more arguments over whether these are Christians who lose their salvation, or whether these were those who professed but didn’t possess, that’s silly! In context you now know what this means. That’s why I said in the introduction of this commentary that you can’t read a book on mechanics and apply it directly to the human body. But you can glean principles from it that will benefit you. So we see here the great finality of the sacrifice of Jesus. We see its sufficiency to cover and REMOVE all our sins. We see the great doctrine of redemption thru the offering of Jesus. What we don’t see is Christians losing their salvation and being told ‘you can never re dedicate [renew] yourself back again!’ ‘And have tasted the good word of God [Israel was reading scripture thousands of years before Gentiles even knew their was scripture!], and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance, seeing they CRUCIFY UNTO THEMSELVES THE SON OF GOD AFRESH, and put him to an open shame’ Here it is real important to understand context. How many believers who have struggled with sin have been told ‘you are crucifying Jesus afresh’? Paul never dealt with believers using this language. He told the Corinthians that because they were God’s dwelling place, and the Spirit of God lived in them, that God would judge those who were in unrepentant sin. But he never used this type of language. So why use it here?

 If Israel rejects Messiah and continues to ‘keep open’ the sacrificial system post Cross, in essence she would be saying ‘we want the sacrifice to continue’ or ‘let’s keep crucifying the Son of God afresh’. In Israel’s mind this would be what they were saying. Paul says ‘don’t do this’ in essence this is an argument, once again, to move on from the law and its sacrifices unto Christ. ‘For the earth that drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, recieveth blessing from God, but that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing, whose end is to be burned’ In the parables one of the main themes is Israel not bringing forth fruit to God. The parable of the vineyard, the cursing of the fig tree.

 In John 15 the branches not bearing fruit are cut off and burned. In all of this imagery Jesus is saying to Israel ‘the time has come for you to produce fruit, the only way a branch can do it is if it is connected to the vine[Jesus], if you reject me you will never produce fruit and your ultimate destiny is judgment’ Paul reiterates that theme here! ‘But we are persuaded better things of you, that which speaks of salvation… for God will not forget your work and labor of love that you have showed towards believers’ Many of the recipients of this letter were those who Paul had preached to in various cities. He would often preach to the Jews on a Sabbath day. After his departure some believed, others were in transition. They still treated the believers well and sort of shared a common fellowship. To these who were not fully converted yet, Paul says ‘God won’t forget how you treated his children, I am persuaded that you will go all the way and show fruits of salvation in Messiah’. ‘Be followers of those who thru faith and patience inherited the promises’ Paul will go thru the rest of this chapter showing how Abraham received promises from God and after many years of waiting he would get the promise.

 Paul is telling Israel ‘you have waited many years for the promise [Messiah] do like the fathers did, inherit it thru faith and patience’ Paul is showing Israel that the patient waiting for their Messiah was part of the plan. When the promise shows up all you have to do is recognize the time and believe in the promise. Israel was at a dangerous transition time, she could [and did] miss the fulfillment of the promise! ‘Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil: wither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest forever after the order of Melchisedek’ we are going to get into Melchisedek again in chapter 7. Paul lays the groundwork, he is telling Israel ‘we have a great high priest who has entered into Gods presence for us, he is from another tribe [Judah] and therefore you must come out from the ‘law tribe’ [Levi] and into the grace tribe [Judah] and you must leave the Aronic priesthood [law] and enter in to the Melchisedek priesthood [New Covenant]. Everything Paul points to is for the purpose of getting his Jewish brothers to embrace Messiah and the New Covenant, Paul sees everything thru this lens. He is persuaded that Jesus is the only way!

In this study I’m trying to make the case that the writer is appealing to the 1st century Jew- and when we read ‘there remains a rest to THE PEOPLE OF GOD’ OR ‘those who were once enlightened- and tasted of the heavenly gift and were partakers of the Holy Spirit’- that in context- these are indeed references to the Jewish person- in the 1st century.
How can that be?
Because all of these covenant blessings- were indeed aspects of the 1st covenant [law] and were unique to Israel.
Then- when we read things like ‘if these shall fall away- repentance is impossible’-
If the Jewish person- at the time of Christ in the 1st century ‘falls away’- meaning he does not continue in the covenant promises of God- thru the law and prophets- which find fulfillment in Christ-Then yes- he ‘fell away’.
Then- if he continues in the old sacrificial system of the law- he in a way ‘crucifies Christ again’.
The animal sacrifices were a type/symbol of Christ to come.
And if you reject Christ as the Messiah- the last and final sacrifice- then in a theological way- you ‘crucify Christ again’.
In Hebrews this is a theme- we read things like ‘there is no future repentance’.
The church has struggled over these verses for centuries- in the early days of Christianity there were those who ‘re-lapsed’ [called the Lapsy].
They denied the faith- in order to save themselves from death.
Then later- the question was asked ‘can they be received back into the church’.
Well- these verses in Hebrews- were an obstacle- because they seemed to say there was no future repentance for those who ‘fell away’.
Yet- that seems to contradict the concept of Grace and Mercy- which are indeed part of the new Covenant.
We read of the Apostle Peters’ denial of Christ- and yet Jesus did forgive him.
So- does the bible contradict?
No- not if you read it in the context I’m showing you.
In the New Testament-there is no ‘repentance’ for those who reject Christ- who ‘blaspheme the Holy Spirit’-
Meaning they resist the revelation of God [the Spirts witness] about his Son.
And yes- that indeed is the only sin that cannot be forgiven- because it rejects the only solution to sin- which is the final sacrifice of Christ.
Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
Hebrews 6:2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
Hebrews 6:3 And this will we do, if God permit.
Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
Hebrews 6:5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
Hebrews 6:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

 [note- some of the posts are too long to post on facebook-so if you just see the video- you can go to the blog and read the post- thanks].
CICERO- MARK ANTONY [or Anthony if you like].

Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
14 And David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.
15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lordwith shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.
16 And as the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal Saul's daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.
2nd Sam. 6
And thou shalt go unto the priest that shall be in those days, and say unto him, I profess this day unto theLord thy God, that I am come unto the countrywhich the Lord sware unto our fathers for to give us.
Dt. 26:3
HEBREWS 1-3 The next few weeks I’ll be teaching from an old commentary I wrote a few years back [2007-8]- The notes at the bottom of the chapters- and post- are new [as well as the videos].

NEW NOTE- In the study of the bible- there are debates about who wrote the letters of the New Testament.
In the field of higher criticism- it gets a bit silly at times.
I just finished an on line course from a respected scholar out of Yale university.
He taught from the higher criticism perspective- I enjoyed the course- though I did not agree with lots of his conclusions.
At one point he questioned whether Paul wrote the middle chapter of one of the letters attributed to Paul.
Yet he did believe the first- and last chapters were by Paul.
For the most part- we believe that the letters in the bible- that say in them ‘written by Paul’ are from Paul [or Peter, James, Etc.].
But- Hebrews leaves the authors name out- so some debate who wrote it.
Tertullian- an early church father [2/3rd century] attributed it to Barnabus- Paul’s companion that we read about in the book of Acts-
For about 1500 years- till the time of the Reformation- most Christian scholars attributed it to Paul.
Hebrews is written in a high form of Greek [which is another way we determine who wrote the letters- tough this is not always accurate.
Many say John the apostle did not write Revelation- because the form of Greek used is much lower than the other writings of John- yet- there is internal witness that John [the apostle] wrote it.
In John’s writings [gospel- 1st, 2nd and 3rd John] he speaks about Jesus as the Word [Logos] and this theme is seen in Revelation too].
So- while we don’t know for sure- I personally stick with the authorship of Paul the apostle.


 I have been wanting to overview this book for a long time. I believe there are a lot of misconceptions from Hebrews. Often time’s modern translations take older books of the Bible and want to make them relevant for our day. This can be both good and bad.

 I like the message Bible, but for in depth study it doesn’t really work. There are certain things that must be interpreted in context  of the time and place when the book was written. Hebrews is one of the most important New Testament books to ‘read in context’. I wont go over every verse in this short commentary, I will hit the high points of various chapters and try to show you what I mean by ‘reading it in context’.

 I believe it is possible that this book was Paul’s ‘open letter’ to the first century Jewish community, this is quite possibly why it goes unsigned. The ‘Judaizers’ had so polluted the minds of their fellow Jews against Paul ‘he speaks against Moses and our law’ type thing, that if Paul signed this letter, there would be little chance that the intended audience would read it!

If you read a book on auto mechanics, and tried to make it relevant for the human body, it wouldn’t work. For instance if you spoke on the engine of a car, and then tried to ‘translate’ that and equate it with the human heart, you would have problems. But if you left it in context and then applied the concept of maintenance and the need for clean fuel lines, and then applied it to the human need for clean arteries, well then that would be OK.

 So I believe when we read Hebrews, and don’t try to make it ‘fit’ Gentile believers, then it works. You still get great principles from the ‘manual’, but you understand that it is not speaking directly to the Gentile church. God bless you guys, I hope you get something from it.    John.


 ‘God, who at sundry times and in diverse manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the Prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds. Many years ago when I was going to a fundamental Baptist Church, they would interpret this passage in a ‘cessationist’ way. They would say because God says in the past he spoke by prophets, but now by his Son. That this means he doesn’t speak thru Prophets any more. The Prophets here are Old Testament voices. In Ephesians it says after Jesus ascended up on high he gave gifts unto men, some Apostles, some Prophets, etc. The fact that Jesus made Prophets after the ascension teaches us that there were to be a whole new class of New Testament Prophets that were different from the old. I find it strange to believe that Jesus would create a whole new class of gifts, and then take them away as soon as the Bible is complete. Why would Paul give instruction in the New Testament on how Prophets would operate [Corinthians] and then to say ‘as soon as this letter is canonized with the others, all this instruction will be useless’ it just doesn’t seem right.

 The reason Paul is saying in the past God used Prophets, but today his Son. Paul is showing that the Jewish Old testament was a real communication from God to man. But in this dispensation of Grace, God is speaking the realities that the Prophets were looking to. Paul is saying ‘thank God for the Old Jewish books and law, they point to something, his name is Jesus’! The Prophets [Old Testament] served a purpose; they brought us from the shadows to the present time [1st century] now lets move on into the reality. Now you must see and hear the Son in these last days. ‘Who being the brightness of his glory and the express image of his person…when he by himself purged our sins SAT DOWN on the right hand of the majesty on high’ here we are at the beginning stages of themes that we will see later in the letter. The significance of Jesus ‘sitting down’ will be contrasted with the Old testament priests ‘standing up’. Paul [for the record I think Paul wrote this letter, from here on I will probably just refer to the writer as Paul] will teach that the ‘standing up’ of the Levitical Priests represented an ‘incomplete priesthood’ the reason Jesus sat down was because there would be no more sacrifice, and no more priesthood made up of many priests who would die year after year. This doesn’t mean there would be no more New Testament priests as believers, but that there would be no more Old Testament system. Paul will find spiritual truths like this all thru out the Old Testament.

 Some theologians feel that Paul is a little too loose with these free comparisons that he seems to ‘pull out of the hat’, for the believer who holds to the canon of scripture, it is the Word of God. ‘Being made so much better than the angels…but unto the Son he saith “thy throne O God is forever and ever, a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy Kingdom”. Here Paul introduces another theme that will be seen thru out this letter. The superiority of Jesus over angels. Why is this important? Most believers know that Jesus is greater than angels, don’t they? Here we see why context is important to understand this letter. In Jewish tradition it is believed that the law was given to Moses by God thru the mediation of angels. Some say ‘well, we don’t use Jewish tradition, we use scripture’. First, Paul used anything he could to win the argument. Second, if we believe Hebrews is an inspired book, then when we read later on that the law given thru angels received a recompense if broken, then right here you have scripture [Hebrews] testifying that God did use angels to ‘transmit’ the law to some degree. Now, why is it important for gentiles to see this? Well it really isn’t! But it is vital for a first century Jew to see it. If Paul can show that Jesus is greater than the angels, then he is beginning to make the argument that the New Covenant is greater than the Old.

Here is the context. Moses law is highly revered in the first century Jewish community, so here Paul says ‘how much better is the law/word given to us from Gods Son’. Since Jesus is much better than the angels, therefore pay closer attention to the words spoken thru Gods Son, he is greater than the angels! ‘But to which of the angels said he “sit at my right hand until I make thy enemies thy footstool” we end chapter one with the theme of Jesus being better than the angels, yet in chapter 2 something funny happens, Paul will make the argument of Jesus being “a little lower than the angels” lets see what this means.
NEW NOTES- 4-2015
We see God having created all things thru Christ ‘the express image of his person- by whom also he made the worlds’.
Jesus is called the WORD of God in scripture- the Greek word- for ‘word’ is Logos.
We read in the bible that God made all things- but also that Christ made all things-
Is this a contradiction?
For the first 3-4 centuries of Christianity- as you study the early church councils-
The early church struggled over how to view the relationships between God and Jesus
These debates raged- and at times each side viewed the other as Heretics.
I think it was a mistake to be so quick to judge those as heretics- who were having difficulty in expressing in finite words- the great mystery of God and Christ.
In Genesis we read that God spoke all things into existence- so- here we see God’s Word- Logos [Christ] as being the instrumental cause of creation.
In John chapter one we read that Jesus was the Word- in the beginning- who was with God- and was God.
I’ll try and simplify it [not an easy task to say the least].
God- who is Spirit- spoke- and this expression of God- his Word- is also referred to as Christ-
Christ/Jesus is the Word of God made flesh- and it is thru his humanity [incarnation] that we do indeed see God in ‘the flesh’-
Yes- by Him- all things were made.

We see a theme in chapter 1- that will run thru the whole letter-
HE SAT DOWN- In Hebrews we are seeing the superiority of the New Covenant over the old- and there will be many comparisons to show how the Old Covenant- priests- sacrifices- the law itself- was less than what we get in the New Covenant-
And the reality that Jesus sat down at the right hand of God- shows us that he was the last- and final High Priest- and the whole system of Priests under the law are now done.
We will read that the Old Testament priests stood [signifying that there work was ongoing- meaning they would have to keep offering sacrifices that could never put away sin].
But Jesus- after he offered himself- sat down.
All thru this letter we will see these comparisons-
LOTS OF QUOTES- We also see a lot of quotes from the Psalms in this letter- just like we saw in the Romans study.
There is a debate over whether or not Paul wrote the letter- I think he did.
One of the reasons is the author of Hebrews does the same thing as Paul in the other letters- lots of cross references from the Old Testament books- and it just seems to me to have the same flavor as Paul’s other letters.
Psalms 2, 104, 45, etc.


 ‘Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at [past post]
But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. Matt. 19:26
Note- Please do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John.#

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

video 3 8 16 Pop's n Jimmy D

And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach. Is. 4:1  Pops n Jimmy D
.Sign man
.Nature of church
.Holy Wisdom
.95 questions on the door
.Unpardonable sin?
.Charley’s plane
PAST POSTS [verses below]
(766)  ACTS CONCLUSION- As we finish our study in Acts, I want to review a few things. The ‘church’ [ecclesia] as seen in Acts are without a doubt ‘organic’ this term describes the community of people in the various locations who believed the message of the Messiah. These people were not establishing ‘church meetings at the church on Sunday’ to compete with the Jewish meetings at the synagogues on Saturday. The transition from the old law into the new covenant was not only one of a change in message [law versus grace] but also a transition from shadows to reality. All the ways of worship and ‘liturgical’ form were part of the old law. The temple and priest and altar were important types and symbols of what was to come. But in the New Testament communities these ideas of physical worship changed. The actual praise of Gods people and doing good deeds will become the sacrifices that God is well pleased with [New Testament]. The Lords meal was actually a meal! The gathering on the first day of the week became a good tradition in memory of Christ’s resurrection. But as time went on many well meaning believers would return to the symbols and incorporate them into their worship. The church would be seen as the ‘church house’ the altar would be seen as a real place upon which the ‘bloodless sacrifice’ [Eucharist] would be re offered again for the sins of the world. The priest would be seen as having special powers given to him by Jesus, that during the mass the host becomes Jesus flesh and blood and as the people ‘eat’ him they are partaking, literally, of Jesus flesh and blood. Now, are all these believers wrong? Should we see the development of sacramental theology as pagan? I personally don’t think so. I prefer to view the changes that took place in the church as part of a process of Gods people grappling with doctrines and beliefs while at the same time struggling to maintain unity as the centuries progressed [I am not making excuses for wrong doctrine, I think well meaning church fathers grasped wrong ideas out of a fear of loosing their identity. The idea of a strong magesterium [teaching authority] gave room for wrong doctrines to become firmly entrenched in the collective mind of the early church]. For the first 1000 years of Christianity the people of God were primarily seen as Catholic. In 1054 the official split between eastern and western Christianity will take place. Another 500 years until the Catholic Church split again [1517]. The host of churches that came out of the Protestant Reformation are too innumerable to mention. Should we view all of these groups as deceived religionists? Of course not. Do we find a pattern in Acts that would allow us to trace ‘the true group’ and lay claim to being the most authentic? I don’t believe so. But as all the people of God strive for the unity that we actually posses in Christ, we have the great resource of the church fathers, the wisdom and insights of the reformers. The heritage of the outgrowth of the restorationist movements. The excitement of the Puritans as they launched out to found a new world free from religious persecution. If it weren’t for the strong institutional church we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to have even had a Luther [Wittenberg] Calvin [first Paris then Geneva] or Zwingli [Zurich]! Or the ‘pre reformers’ Wycliffe, Huss and Knox. These men were products of Catholic higher learning! It was the reality of Catholic institutional Christianity that allowed for these men to be trumpets of truth in their day! The university cities that they taught in as Catholic priests allowed for their influence to spread far and wide. In each generation of believers you have had Gods people progress so far and leave us with great treasures that were intended to be passed on to future generations If we severe ourselves from historic Christianity, then we lose the great gains that have been made in the centuries gone by! The book of Acts shows us the freedom of the people of God. ‘Where 2 or more are together in my name, I am in the midst’ isn’t some description of ‘local church’. As in if we copy the formulas of what happened in Acts [break bread, prayer, etc.] then you ‘have a church’. Jesus promise to be with us when we are together is the act of brotherhood. Surely we saw Jesus going along with the people of God all thru out Acts. The Spirit of God that indwelt them in chapter 2 was the promise that he would be with them. He legitimized them! Not some institution [‘local church’] that they were to start! So today all the people of God are striving to find a closer identity with each other as fellow believers in the Lord. I believe the book of Acts gives us a beautiful picture of the church in her infancy stage. I also believe the growth seen as we read Paul’s letters to these churches indicates the heart of God for his people to remain in grace. Paul warns the churches to not fall into the  legalism of observing days and regulations and legalistic requirements. He wants them to live simply, free from sin and to be the people of God in society. Some branches of Christianity took hold of the strong ‘we are pilgrims’ view [which is true to a degree] and would separate from society. Not realizing we are pilgrims and strangers to the worlds system, but our Father is God of heaven and earth! We are here to impact this planet! So let’s run with the exciting message and revolutionary mindset that the early church possessed. They weren’t in this thing for what they could get out of it, they were really laying their lives down for the gospel. They were sharing their stuff with each other. They were loving God and their fellow man in ways that were uncommon for their time. It wasn’t only what they said that allowed them to ‘turn their world upside down’ it was who they were, the People of God.
 I want to make a note here- since last week’s video I saw the movie AMERICAN SNIPER- I also read more comments on this subject.
In the video I mentioned how Chris said in his book he ‘hates all Iraqi’s’- now- I read excerpts- as well as what others said.
I want to clarify- some are disputing these claims- so- the purpose of these posts [on everything] is to
(594)             . Let me cover some church history. I have had someone argue with me about the history of Islam. Not a Muslim, but a Christian who was saying ‘why do you say Islam started in the 7th century, it started around the 11th’. My answer was ‘Muhammad lived in the 7th century’. Not to hard to see this. So I thought I should cover some history. During the time of the rise of Islam, the Christian church was already dividing from east and west. After Constantine [4th century Roman emperor] consolidated the Roman Empire in the 4th century he set up the capital city of the eastern empire, Constantinople [named after him]. As time progressed the western church would take on the form of Roman Catholicism, the eastern [Constantinople area. Modern day Turkey-Istanbul] would be known as ‘Orthodox’. Though the official split of eastern and western [Catholic-Rome!] churches occurred in 1054 AD, yet the division started years before. The official split is called ‘the great schism’ of the 11th century; it would not be until 500 years later that the church would have her ‘reformation’. The official reason for this split was over a rather silly thing. For centuries the Catholic church had an expression that said ‘the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father’ than they included ‘he proceeds from the father and the Son’. Well the eastern brothers didn’t like Rome telling them what to believe and used this as the official reason to ‘have the schism’. To be honest the divisions were coming for years. After the Roman Empire consolidated under Constantine, he tried to strengthen the eastern territories of his empire and for centuries you had the struggle for which region would be the most influential. At first you had 5 major areas that were divided under 5 main Bishops. As time went on the argument would be ‘which bishop has the most say so’ and it was really a power struggle. Finally Rome said ‘the bishop of Rome is the FIRST AMONG EQUALS [a term that many in the Protestant strain of the discipling movement would later embrace] he holds Peters seat’ and this is really where the divisions started. Eventually Muhammad would rise and Islam would take control of the eastern capital. This later became the reason for the crusades. The Catholic church wanted to regain the territories that she lost in the east. The eastern churches are very much Catholic in many ways. They also hold to a view of Christianity that sees man being ‘joined’ with God and becoming pleasing to God thru Christ’s grace uniting with us and making us like him. A perfectly scriptural view, but a different emphasis from the strong intellectual power that you read about from the western fathers of the church. The Catholic church is noted for her social action in ways that the eastern church is not. So both of these communions have good things to bring to the table. The Orthodox [eastern] churches would not be affected by the major social and political upheavals that took place in the west. The Renaissance, the Reformation and the Enlightenment had major impacts on western Christianity, while not affecting the eastern church in the same way. During the 13th- 15th centuries you would have ‘pre reformers’ rise up in the western church. John Wycliffe, the great Catholic Priest who was at the center of learning in France would become known for his translating the scriptures into the common language. Then you have John Huss and John Knox [3 Johns, scripture says 3 fold cords are not easily broken!] who would have their own influence in western Christianity. At this time you had whole movements of believers who would be seen as neither ‘western or eastern’ but restorationist [the restoring of the early practices and beliefs of the church] Peter Waldo would be the Father of the Waldensians and in the 12th century you would have the Albigenses in the south of France. These groups would be looked upon as ‘cults’ [though the term was not used yet] by the traditional church. So you can see how the church has been growing and reforming ever since the first century. Even though we see many divisions that exist till this day, there are strides being made for unity. The eastern and western church are very close to‘re uniting’ once again. While I do not personally hold to the doctrine of the Pope being the occupier of Peter’s seat, I also see him as a Christian man who is striving for unity in Christ’s church. Some believe the whole attempt for outward unity is futile. The more ardent Protestants see it as ‘the one world church of the anti christ’ I reject that language out of hand. Well I hope you got something out of this short overview of world history [real short!].

Recently saw an appeal to give. The teaching [TV] was well meaning. They were showing how the scripture is loaded with the doctrine of ‘first fruits’. All good stuff on the ‘secret’ of first fruits. The teacher was being hailed as an authority on Jewish history and why ‘first fruits’ is so important. The main problem with this whole mindset is they ALWAYS seem to see giving in the context of sending money to ministries. Jesus taught THEE NUMBER ONE priority of GIVING TO GOD was to be expressed by meeting the real needs of people. Now, you do find the woman giving into ‘the offerings of God’ by giving
NOTE- It just so happened that I mentioned Istanbul Turkey- and Moscow on this teaching- a day or 2 before the recent events. I posted a short video yesterday about the downing of the Russian plane by Turkey.
Brief overview- we [U.S.] are ‘in’ Syria because we are supposed to be fighting terrorists- and nations that support them. Russia is also in Syria to fight terrorists.
Russia is fighting all of them [including the ones that Turkey supports- and backs- also called ‘rebels’- some of these groups we too support- because even though they are similar to ISIS- yet we overlook it- because they are fighting Assad [strange- I know].
Now- Turkey is also a member of NATO- meaning we will ‘back them up- like one of our

There is a debate about how much of what was written about him was actually true- Plato did add his own ideas into these debates- and the controversy about this is so strong that we actually have a name for it- the ‘Socratic Problem’.
During the time of the disillusionment of the Athenians- there were a group of philosophers known as the Sophists.

The word comes from Sophia- meaning wisdom.

Philosophy itself means The Love of Wisdom.
In our day the words Sophomore- Sophistry and Sophisticated are derived from this root word.

The Sophists were the original Pragmatists.

Pragmatism is a form of belief that says ‘do what works- regardless of the ethical implications’.
We will get to Pragmatism at the end of this whole series on Philosophy.

But for now- we see the division between what Socrates taught- and the
Now- I do not ‘spiritualize’ everything in the book of Revelation- and over time I might teach the various views on the book [historic- future- a mix of both- etc.]But what I want you to see in this post is the primary ‘enemy’ that Christ wars against- is Satan’s tactic to deceive man- thru sin- and the way sin effects the mind.
I read a book on addiction a few years ago [read a few] - and one of them was quite interesting.
It was a book on addiction recovery- from those who left AA.
The new program they started [and have good results] was based solely on recognizing the ‘addictive voice’.
Over time- thru many personal stories- they learned that sin/addiction starts in the mind- many testified to the fact that before they sinned- they actually found themselves ‘mouthing’ words like ‘I can’t believe I’m going to do this’
They taught- at that point- reject [rebuke] the voice.
[ that the image of the beast should both speak ,]
Many spoke about images of sin in their ‘mind’s eye’- Jesus warned against sin- saying ‘if your eye is evil- your whole body will be full of darkness’.
As you read these references I posted from revelation- you see an aspect of this
‘Those who worship the beast- and his image’ ‘those MARKED in their minds/hands’.
At the end of the book we read of those who overcame the beast- they ‘stood on a sea of glass- mingled with fire’.
Those who come up out of the waters of baptism [our identification with Christ] ‘stand on a sea’ in a sense-
Yet- it was fire too- I taught this year on the Baptism of Fire
So- the great victory over the beast and his image- is thru the work of the Cross- Jesus- thru his Word- kills this beast.
We are then raised to walk in newness of life- and have authority in the kingdom with him [sit on the throne too- this is actually not the teaching for the week- but I just wanted to give you a flavor of what’s to come].
To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame , and am set down with my Father in his throne.
[1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind;and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved ;) 6 And hath raised us up together , and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:  Ephesians- Note ‘the spirit that now works IN THE CHILDREN of disobedience’- the primary spiritual warfare takes place inside people- Jesus ‘wars’ against the sinful nature of man- the ‘spirit’ working IN sinful/lost man].
 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them [Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? Corinthians]: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image , neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands;
To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame , and am set down with my Father in his throne.
1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away ; and there was no more sea. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband [This is us- THE CHURCH- THE BRIDE]. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying , Behold , the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow,nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away [Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away ; behold , all things are become new. Corinthians] . 5 And he that sat upon the throne said , Behold , I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write : for these words are true and faithful. 6 And he said unto me, It is done . I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 7He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable , and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers,and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone:which is the second death.For others- it might be time to leave former sins in the past- Ephesians 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Ephesians 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Romans 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Romans 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
Romans 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the1802- THE HARVARD PROFESSOR

Caught an interesting show the other night- a Harvard economist [liberal] gave a lecture on economics.

Now- when I say ‘liberal’ I do not use the term in a derogatory way- no- he was the type of economist that would fit into the category of a Paul Krugman.

Let’s pick up where we left off 2 posts back. We were talking about Martin Luther and the events that led up to the Protestant Reformation.

In order to understand the key act that caused the protest- we will have to teach some Catholic history/doctrine.

In the 16th century Pope Julius began the effort to build St. Peters basilica in Rome. He got as far as laying the foundation and died. Pope Leo the 10th would pick up after him.

The church needed to raise money for the project- and the German prince- Albert- would play a major role.

It should be noted that both Catholic and Protestant scholars agree that the Popes of the day were pretty corrupt. They came from what we call the Medici line of Popes.

If you remember last month I wrote a post on the Renaissance- I talked about the Medici family and how they played a major role in supporting the Renaissance that took place in the 13th century in Florence Italy that would spread to the region.

Well this very influential family also played a big role in who would get top positions in the church.

At the time of Luther and prince Albert- if you had the right connections and the money- you could literally buy a position in the church.

Albert already held 2 Bishop seats- and there was an opening for an Archbishops seat in Mainz [Germany] and he wanted that one too.

It should be noted that official Canon law [church law] said you could only hold one seat at a time- Albert was bidding on his 3rd one! And he was too young for all of them.

So even the Pope and the officials held little respect for what the church actually taught at the time.

So Albert opens up negotiations with Leo- and the bidding starts AT 12,000 Duckets [money] Albert counters with 7,000- and they agree on 10,000. How did they justify the numbers? 12- The number of Apostles. 7- The 7 deadly sins. 10- The 10 commandments.

Yes- the church was pretty corrupt at the time.

So Albert works out a plan with Leo- he will borrow the money from the German banks- and pay the banks off by the Pope giving Albert the right to sell Indulgences.

What’s an Indulgence?

Okay- this is where it gets tricky.

The ancient church taught a system called The Treasury of Merit. This was a sort of spiritual bank account that ‘stored up’ the good deeds of others over the years.

You had the good deeds of Jesus at the top- but you also had Mary and Joseph- the 12 Apostles- and other various saints thru out time.

The way the ‘bank’ worked was you could tap into the account by getting a Papal indulgence- a sort of I.O.U. that had the Popes guarantee that it would get so much time out of Purgatory for a loved one.

The actual sacrament that accesses the account is called Penance [confession].

When a penitent does penance- he confesses his sin to the priest- and he is absolved by the authority of the church that the priest has. The priest usually tells the person ‘say so many Hail Mary’s- Our Father’s’ and that’s a form of penance.

One of the other things the church practiced was called Alms Deeds. This term is found in the bible and it means giving your money to the poor- it is a noble act that Jesus himself taught.

In theory- part of the sacrament of penance was tied into Alms Deeds- you can access the account thru the practice of giving to the poor- which also meant giving to the church that helps the poor- and in the hands of the Medici line of Popes- meant outright giving money to the Pope.

So now you see how the abuse worked its way into the pockets of the faithful.

Albert now had the permission from Leo to sell these indulgences in Germany- and he would pick a certain corrupt priest to sell them in a place called Saxony- the region where Luther operated out of.

It should be noted that the Catholic Church never taught the crass act of ‘buying your way out of Purgatory’. The practice of including giving money as a part of the sacrament of penance was tied into the biblical principle of giving to the poor- a good thing.

But Tetzel and others abused the official meaning of the indulgence- and did make it sound like you could by your way out of Purgatory [in theory- a loved one might be in Purgatory for so many years- and through the indulgence you are actually getting time off for them- because the good deeds of others are now applied to the account].

The money Albert would raise- half would go to Rome for the building of St. peters- and half would go to pay off the banks in Germany- it was a sad system- and a sad time for the church as a whole.

It would be wrong to judge the entire church at the time as being corrupt- you did have many sincere Priests and Catholic men and women who saw the abuses and did not take part in them.

But there was corruption at the top- and this would eventually lead to the breakup of the church- and the launching of what we now call the Protestant Movement.

As a side note- it should be said that many Catholics and Protestants are not aware of the whole treasury of merit system- and the church never officially changed her position on the doctrine.

There were 3 Church councils since the time [Trent- 1500’s, Vatican 1- 1800’s and Vatican 2- 1962-65]. The Treasury of Merit never came up for change.

Obviously Protestants don’t believe in Purgatory- and it’s not my purpose in these posts to change Catholics into Protestants or vice versa- but to give all sides a clear view of the issues that divided us- and to try and be honest- and respectful during the process.

Does the bible teach anything like a Treasury of Merit? Well actually it does. The bible teaches that the righteousness of Christ is the treasury that people can access- by faith- and become righteous in the sight if God.

The idea- applied to Christ- is good.

But in the hands of the Medici Popes- and the ambitious prince of Germany- it would lead to disaster.

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John


Today let’s finish up the study on the Protestant Reformation. We left off on Luther disputing with the church over the doctrine of how a person becomes just in the sight of God- is it by works or faith?

Now- to the surprise of many Protestants [and Catholics!] both sides agreed that a person cannot be justified by works.

Yes- the Catholic Church rejected what was known as Pelagianism. In the early centuries of the church there was a Catholic priest- named Pelagius- who taught that people had the ability within themselves to obey Gods law and become saved that way.

He rejected the doctrine of original sin and another famous bishop- Saint Augustine- would refute Pelagius and teach salvation comes by the Grace of God.  The official Catholic position was to reject
Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 1st Jn. 3:9
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Matt. 18:20
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 1st Jn. 2:16
Note- Please do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John.#